#HR Trends and Insights

7 Top Benefit Trends that Will Set Companies Apart

July 25, 2018

Employee benefits, and how they fit into your company’s culture, has become a main factor in attracting and retaining employees.
Some employee benefits programs get all the hype. Google offers catered meals onsite, for example. Twitter has on-site acupuncture and yoga classes.
But guess what? You don’t have to go over-the-top like Silicon Valley firms to offer great benefits to your team.
Chances are your employees would appreciate something that will have a huge benefit on their day-to-day lives.
So here’s 7 trends in employee benefits that are setting companies apart from the competition. How many are in place at your company?
1 – Financial Wellness (and Total Wellness)
When we think wellness and benefits, we often think gym memberships. For years, companies have focused on fitness and emotional wellness programs (like EAP, etc.) — and seen the results.
Now companies are checking in on the status of their employees’ financial wellness. Retirement benefits have played a major role in this area for years. Today, companies are helping employees with things like managing student loan debts and proper budgeting.
They provide their workers with financial counseling, online assessment tools and advice on how to manage money properly. This is helping to produce more productive, less-stressed employees. That’s something everyone knows is good for business.
2 – Commuter benefits
Do you have commuters? Whether your workers drive, take public transportation, rideshare, or  vanpool to work, there’s money to be saved for all of you.
Commuter benefits allow you and employees to save on transit and parking costs (and biking expenses in some cases). Your employees can set aside tax-free money to spend on their transit and parking costs. Your company can save on payroll taxes.
Employees who participate can save up to 40 percent in commuting expenses, and companies save over 7.65 percent in payroll taxes. The win-win benefit can be an excellent benefit to candidates you hope to hire while also helping to retain your current staff.

Learn how pre-tax commuter benefits work here.

3 – Paid leave done differently
Paid leave just isn’t what it used to be. Companies are now increasing the paid leave for new employees. Some are even allowing grandparents to take a little time off when a child is born or adopted.
And it comes in many forms. Paternal paid time off has grown across the country. Companies are also allowing their employees to donate paid and sick time off to other employees who may need it for illness, family situations or other reasons.
Depending on your company’s size and situation, you may want to even consider a plan like Netflix’s unlimited vacation or a full year off for parental leave for parents of new children.
The theory behind it makes sense. Netflix, like you, is competing for the best employees and people perform better at work when they have fewer worries at home.
4 – Other “People-first initiatives”
If unlimited vacation time doesn’t work for your company, think of other ways your employees could use some extra assistance.
There are a number of family-friendly benefits out there, including adoption assistance, and surrogacy and in vitro fertilization benefits for employees wanting children.
Everyone knows someone who has a sick parent or relative. Your company can offer benefits that make it easier for employees to provide care.
And there’s employees who do not have children, but still would appreciate other benefits. Those include exploring ways to let them travel or volunteer without them worry about taking time off from work.
5 – Non-traditional scheduling
Smartphone and laptop in hand, we are never far away from our work inbox. Companies are now changing the ways they let employees work as a result.
Your company benefits can include telecommuting, flexible work schedules, permanent or temporary remote work options, and reduced work weeks.
6 – Perks
Google has reduced the amount of M&Ms its employees eat, but it’s still a famous job perk that catches attention.
Closer to home, your employees may appreciate more flexible arrangements as job perks. This can help them get life tasks done so they give their full effort at work.
Often these take form in what’s called flexible arrangements. They are smaller programs like offering a personal concierge program or the ability to run errands during the workday.
It can also mean big things like offering a program to help pay off student loans, contributing to wedding costs, and tuition reimbursement for workers and their family members.
Some companies even offer an onsite car wash. Just what is a “job perk” is truly left up to you and your employees’ imaginations.
7 – Cadillac-style health coverage
Health insurance isn’t just a political football in Washington. It’s a major selling point when recruiting talent to your company — and attracting the great team you’ve already assembled.
The long-term fate of the Affordable Care Act is unknown. But companies are offering Gold and Platinum plans to employees until things change. Some are offering private plans outside ACA coverage. Employees also love the benefits of health reimbursement accounts and medical expense reimbursement accounts.
You may not have a budget like Google or Twitter for your employee benefits. But that doesn’t mean you can’t be creative and fine those benefits that can have a significant impact on their lives.
If you want to learn more about commuter benefits, download the 101 Guide below:

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